Technological advancements have brought about a brand new injury said to be caused by using tech gadgets. Forward Head Posture (FHP) is caused by using tech gadgets like tablets, phones and other devices. While FHP is common among teenagers, it is also developing into an occupational hazard. Workers whose jobs require the frequent use of handheld devices might have questions about how the California workers’ compensation system will handle claims for injuries caused by excessive strain on vertebrae in the neck and spine as a result of FHP.
Workplace researchers say modern technology causes poor ergonomics, and while desktop computer workers already tend to slouch in their chairs, FHP can exacerbate the injury risks. Looking down at handheld devices increases the extension required in the upper thoracic, lower and upper cervical vertebrae. This posture is also called “poking chin.”
Researchers say this spinal flexion adds a 10-pound burden to the spine and neck with every inch at which the head is held forward, instead of directly above the shoulders. They also suggest that companies do not lose sight of FHP in their ergonomics planning of workstations. Many young workers enter the workforce with existing damage to their vertebrae, increasing the risk of reinjury or aggravating preexisting injuries.
California workers whose jobs require them to work in postures that lead to FHP or other musculoskeletal injuries might have questions about their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Proving this condition to be work-related might be challenging. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide answers along with the necessary support and guidance throughout the ensuing procedures in pursuit of maximum applicable benefits.